Reliance Jio, which is now the second largest single country operator in the world, having a subscriber base of 355 million, has reported relatively increased customer engagement trends with data usage amounting to atleast 11.7 GB per user per month. These numbers came to the fore during the Reliance Industries Limited (RIL)Q3 2019 financial results. The results were made public by Alok Agarwal – Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at RIL. At this juncture, it is worth remembering that Jio has started levying 6 paise per minute as Interconnect Usage Charges (IUC) for voice calls made to other non-Jio networks.
The above statistics clearly shows the increased penetration of Jio across the Indian telecom landscape. Even the VoLTE voice consumption was said to be 789 minutes per month per user. At this juncture, Jio’s 4G VoLTE services first surfaced in 2016 when 4G was still in its nascence in India. Now, 4G LTE/VoLTE calls have become a norm and almost all major telcos in India offer the services. During the Q3 2019 results, it also came to light that Jio has a subscriber base of 355 million. During the Q3 2019 time period, the data traffic carried within its networks was 12 Exabytes.
In related news, there have been intense discussions around the IUC. Jio has stated that it is complying by TRAI norms in levying 6 paise per minute for calls to non-Jio operators. The telco has also released a list of IUC-specific recharge options for prepaid customers. These packs start from Rs 10. These offer extra 4G data starting from 1 GB. Other operators such as Airtel, Vodafone, and BSNL have stated they would continue offering “truly unlimited calls” by continuing to pay IUC themselves, and not pass on these charges to customers.